Australian Indian Community Centre, Rowville
Indian community finally has a place to call home in Victoria, thanks to the collective efforts of the Australian India Community Charitable Trust (AICCT), headed by Vasan Srinivasan. The opening of Australian Indian Community Centre at 16-18 Kingsley Close, Rowville in Melbourne’s South East on 26 March marks decades of hard work which has come to fruition giving the Indian community in Victoria – their first (of many) home.
The two-story building has a built-up area of 1000 plus sq Meters and 20+ parking. The management has made an application to the local council for permission to hold events at the Centre. There is also room for hiring for office space of up to 5 service business which will assist in meeting the running costs of the centre.
Indian community’s other asset – Museum India has been shifted from Dandenong to be housed at the new centre. The first floor of the community centre has been named the Dr Dinesh Parekh Museum India. All of Dr Dinesh Parekh’s collections of paintings, photographs, stamps, coins, and books are on display there.
Dr Parekh who died last month was present in the hearts and minds of everyone attending along with his wife, son, and daughter-in-law who were present to grace the occasion.
The building was previously used as a place of training and assembly but has not been used for the last two years. Thus all the permits and paperwork needs refreshing. The management is waiting for the Council to reinstate permits for these purposes again. It should not take more than four to six weeks and the centre should have all okay to start housing and hosting people.
There are plans to have sports facilities at the centre for nurturing community’s sports talent and the management is brainstorming the idea.
A website is being developed which will enable people to book facilities online.
The funding of $2.5 million by the federal government was an election promise made to the Indian community by the Liberal Party friends of Vasan Srinivasa, Minister Alan Tudge, member for Aston, Minister Michael Sukkar, Member for Deakin. They kept their promise, delivered the money and the Indian community got their centre.
BT understands, the Andrews government has also promised funding of just under $100,000 which is awaited.
To celebrate the auspicious occasion and launch the centre, Federal Ministers Alan Tudge and Michael Sukkar, former Victorian leader of the Opposition Matthew Guy, India’s Consul General of India in Melbourne Mr Raj Kumar and many prominent members of the local India community attend the formal launch on 26 March.
Mr Vasan told Bharat Times Prime Minister Scott Morrison was supposed to launch the centre but for the last minute dash back to Sydney. Mr Alan Tudge read Mr Morrison’s message to the audience instead.
The leadership of the Indian community in other parts of Melbourne should now feel “urged” to do similar work as the size of the community only accentuate at least one more centre in the Western or North Western suburbs. It is simply not practical for those living in Footscray, St Albans, Hoppers Crossing and the surrounding areas to think of hosting their community function guests in Rowville.
Clearly, the AICCT has thrown a big challenge to Indians in the West. It is up to the leaders in the area to take it and run with it. How long it takes, only time will tell.
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